The average adult carries out 109 “life
admin” tasks every year, research has
Experts found a substantial chunk of our
time is now taken up by mundane jobs such
as sorting out home or car insurance,
checking bank accounts and paying off
Alarmingly the study found more than half
the nation struggle to keep up with
household ‘paperwork’ and often fail to
complete everything by the required date.
Additionally it emerged the average adult
has four important tasks currently in the
pipeline which they urgently needed to clear
– but can’t find the time to do.
This month emerged as the time when
many of us vow to get on top of the tasks in
Rob Alder, Head of Business Development at
AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians),
which commissioned the study of 2,000
Brits, said: “January can be a great time to
reflect on the past and plan the year ahead.
We shouldn’t allow mountains of life admin
to get in the way of our ambitions for 2018.
“These could include taking the opportunity
to enter the career you’ve always dreamed
of, or, if you’re happy with your current role,
look past the fog of admin which clouds
your path towards upskilling and taking
new qualifications that could benefit your
The study also found seven in 10 Brits
consider themselves to be organised, yet it
also emerged many urgent life admin tasks
are still left uncompleted.
The AAT report also revealed a string of
tasks which the panel believe could be made
less labour intensive, with applying for a job
More than one third thought putting
themselves forward for a new position
could be made easier.
And one in two would prefer to reduce the
stack of forms required to be read and
signed before purchasing a new home.
Twenty per cent believe tying the knot with
the one you love could be improved with a
reduction in paperwork, though filing for
divorce is considered equally as difficult to
Another one in two workers have even
sacrificed time at work to chip away at their
This amount of time spent doing paperwork
is also eating into the aspirations of Brits
looking to make improvements to their lives,
according to the study.
Almost three in five have made it their goal
to better their organisational skills in the
near future so they can make room for self-
As for other things Brits would like to
achieve in 2018, 48 per cent want to work
on chiselling out a fitter body, and 46 per
cent would like to save enough cash to go
on their dream holiday.
Thirteen per cent aspire to move house to
somewhere new and one in six are open to
starting a new romantic relationship – if
they could only find time for love.
Failing that, one in four would settle for the
chance to meet a few new people.
A studious 23 per cent of Brits would like to
enrol on a course to learn a skill, and three
in ten are even itching to return to further
education to learn a new qualification.
Forty four per cent think a bit more time in
their lives would allow them to travel and
see the world, while a fifth would prefer to
stay closer to home and use the time to get
on top of their finances.
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Darren Nicholls, product manager for
Informi, the website offering free practical
advice and support for small businesses,
added: “Admin is a pain, but those
innocuous forms are often very important to
pay attention to and in some cases could
save you from financial penalties in the
“With the 31 January fast approaching, for
those people who run their own small
business or are freelance workers, we must
stress the importance of getting your tax
return in before the deadline to avoid any
penalties for late submission.
”There are a number of online guides
available to help you through this process.”
Top 20 life admin tasks
1. Paid a utilities bill
2. Bought a gift
3. Paid a council tax bill
4. Booked a doctor’s appointment
5. Written a shopping list
6. Checked banking expenditure
7. Booked a holiday
8. Researched home improvements
9. Booked a transport ticket
10. Changed insurance company
11. Written a letter
12. Researched a new phone
13. Bought a new phone
14. Written or updated a CV
15. Managed your mortgage
16. Changed banking details
17. Applied for a job
18. Filled out your tax return
19. Notified a change of address
20. Enrolled on a course